Brentford believe they can tempt Aaron Hickey to choose them instead of Newcastle United due to the lure of greater gametime, a report has claimed.
Aaron Hickey has been earning plenty of admirers thanks to his performances for Bologna in Serie A. The 19-year-old could be ready to return to the UK in the summer. There are plenty of interested parties within the Premier League, for example.
The Scotland international recently became of interest to Newcastle United. They are considering what to do at left-back following the end of Matt Targett’s loan spell from Aston Villa.
But according to Sky Sports News, Newcastle are now expected to sign Targett permanently. In turn, Hickey could have doubts about how much he would play there.
Hence, there is an opportunity for rival suitors to sneak in. One of them, the report reveals, is Brentford.
The Bees are completing their first season in the Premier League and are aiming to secure their status for a second one next term. With eight games left, they are in 15th place.
They will want to consolidate next season if they stay up, which may mean transfer activity. The full-back areas are a region they want to reinforce.
Sky are reporting that they are hoping to tempt Hickey with the promise of regular gametime. Some of his other suitors may not be able to match that, despite his ability to play on either side of defence.
The report claims two other clubs in the Premier League have an interest in Hickey too. They are not named, but it is disclosed that Tottenham Hotspur boss Antonio Conte informally admires the defender.
Meanwhile, current Serie A leaders AC Milan could also offer Hickey the next step to continue in Italian football.
However, he may prefer to return to the UK and gain his first experience of the Premier League instead.
Aaron Hickey package could break Brentford record
For any of his admirers to prise him away from Bologna – who have him under contract until 2024 – they could have to fork out up to £20m.
In Brentford’s case, depending on the structure of the deal, that could make him a record signing. Their most expensive recruit so far has been Kristoffer Ajer from Celtic for a fee in the region of £14m in July 2021.
Newcastle, in comparison, would be comfortable reaching the levels needed to sign Hickey. Backed by Saudi owners, they are keeping expectations low for the summer, but know they can afford whoever they want in theory.
Targett, for instance, should cost them around £15m to sign permanently. Therefore, that deal would be in a similar region to a potential one for Hickey.
If Brentford get their way, though, they could be the ones to benefit from the former Hearts ace instead.